Graphic artist Milton Glaser died this week on his 91st birthday, and if the name doesn't ring a bell, his work surely will. Glaser is best known for having created the famous "I Love New York" logo, with a heart replacing the word "Love." The best part: Glaser came up with the logo for the state's 1977 tourism campaign came on a cab ride and sketched it out during the ride in red crayon on the back of an envelope, reports the New York Times. It remains in use to this day, though other artists and Glaser himself (notably, after the 9/11 attacks) have put out different variations on it over the years. “I’m flabbergasted by what happened to this little, simple nothing of an idea,” Glaser said in 2011.
The logo is just a small part of Glaser's groundbreaking career, notes Artnet. One of his other famous creations is the 1967 promotional poster for the Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits album. It features a silhouette of Dylan but with psychedelic hair. Glaser also co-founded New York magazine in the late 1960s. Here is how the AP sums things up: "In posters, logos, advertisements and book covers, Glaser’s ideas captured the spirit of the 1960s with a few simple colors and shapes." But was it art? Not according to Glaser. “What I’m suggesting is we eliminate the term art and call everything work,” he said in 2000. “When it’s really extraordinary and moves it in a certain way, we call it great work. We call it good when it accomplishes a task, and we call it bad when it misses a target.” (Read more obituary stories.)